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Home > Education > Theory > Eight Influential Points

The Eight Influential Points

By Li Ding

Ren Mai imageFrom the book: "Acupuncture, Meridian Theory and Acupuncture Points"

The Influential Points are eight important points where qi of the respective body tissues is infused into the body surface, namely zang, fu, qi, blood, tendons, vessels, bones and marrow. "Hui" means influential in particular. The earliest record of the Eight Influential Points is found in the book "Nanjing: Question Forty-five."

The Eight Influential Points regulate the function of the zangfu organs, promote the circulation of qi and blood, release tendons and nourish marrow.

Zhangmen (Liv.13), the Influential Point of zang organs;
Zhongwan (Ren 12), the Influential Point of the fu organs;
Shanzhong (Ren 17), the Influential Point of qi;
Geshu (U.B.17), the Influential Point of blood;
Yanglingquan (G.B.34), the Influential Point of tendons;
Taiyuan (Lu.9), the Influential Point of the vessels;
Dashu (U.B.11), the Influential Point of the bones; and
Xuanzhong (G.B.39), the Influential Point of the marrow.

Respective Influential Points can be selected for treating disorders associated with the above eight parts of the body. Explanation of the actions of the Eight Influential Points are as follows:

Zhangmen (Liv.l3) is the Influential Point of zang organs and is also the Front-mu point of the spleen. The functional activities of the five zang organs originate from spleen qi. This point can be used in the treatment of disorders of zang organs, such as spleenomegaly, hepatomegaly, hypochondriac pain or jaundice.

Zhongwan (Ren 12) is the Influential Point of the fu organs and is also the Front-mu point of the stomach. The functional activities of the six fu organs originate from stomach qi. This point can be used for treating disorders of the six fu organs such as epigastric distention, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, as well as some other gastrointestinal disorders.

Shanzhong (Ren 17) is the Influential Point of qi, being located in the centre of the chest where Zong qi js formed (Zong qi is the qi of the thorax, formed from respiratory qi and food essence). Internally, this point is in close proximity to the lung, the organ which dominates qi. This point, also called Upper-Qihai, can be used for treating disorders of qi derangement such as chest pain, shortness of breath, asthma and hiccup.

Geshu (U.B.17) is the Influential Point of blood, being located between Xinshu (heart point) and Ganshu (liver point). The liver stores blood while the heart dominates blood. This point is situated between the two organs and has the function to promote the manufacture of blood. It is used for treating disorders of blood such as anemia, stasis of blood, bloody vomiting, bloody stool or cough with bloody sputum.

Yanglingquan (G.B. 34) is the Influential Point of the tendons and is also the He-sea point of the Gall Bladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang. The gall bladder and the liver are internally-externally related organs. The liver dominates the tendons. Besides, Yanglingquan (G.B.34) is below the knee joint, the convergent place of the tendons. It is used for treating disorders such as spasm and painful tendons, hemiplegia or numbness.

Taiyuan (Lu.9) is the Influential Point of vessels. Taiyuan (Lu.9), also the Yuan (source) point of the Lung Meridian of Hand-Taiyin, is located at cunkou (at the wrist where the pulse is palpated). The lung is associated with the pulses and cunkou is the major converging place of the qi of the vessels. This point can be used for treating disorder of the vessels, such as vasculitis, acrotism and arteriosclerosis.

Dashu (U.B.11), lateral to the spinal column, is the Influential Point of bones. Bone arises from marrow while marrow flows down to Dashu (U.B.11) from the brain, and further to the bones and joints. This point, the convergent place of qi of the bones, is located superior to all of the Back-shu points. It can be used for treating disorders of the bones such as pain in the shoulder, scapula or back.

Xuanzhong (G.B.39) is the Influential Point of marrow. It was considered in ancient times that marrow was a part of the bones. Marrow is thought of as helping the growth of bones. Thus, it is an essential factor in the ability to walk normally. It is used in the treatment of disorders of the marrow, such as myo-asthenia and anemia.

Clinically, the Influential Points can be used as main points, secondary poinrs being prescribed according to the varying symptoms and signs. For example, Taiyuan (Lu.9), as the main point, could be used in combination with Neiguan (P.6) and Shanzhong (Ren 17) for treating acrotism. Geshu (U.B.17), as the main point, could be used in combina tion with Xuehai (Sp.10) and Qihai (Ren 6) for treating chronic hemorrhage. Palpation of the Influential Points can also be a useful aid to diagnosis, tenderness at a given point indicating a disorder of the related tissue.

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